Everyone in business knows how important marketing is. Without taking the time to engage with consumers and let them know you exist, it is very tough to drive sales and make money. Proper marketing, on the other hand, helps you reach your target audience and show them who you are, what your brand is about and why they should spend money with you. This makes people with marketing skills valuable to employers and makes a career in marketing an in-demand, exciting choice.
While there are many niches in the marketing sector you could move into, content marketing is very popular. It involves researching, creating and marketing content online to drive sales and website traffic. But how can you get the knowledge you need for success when pursuing this career, and what tools and skills are worth staying on top of when doing this?
Education is key for pursuing a content marketing career
Before we look at the crucial tools and skills needed when pursuing a content marketing career, it pays to know where to learn about them first. Although reviewing them in your own time is fine as you move into content marketing professionally, you need to attain a core base of knowledge to start off with.
The best way, by far, is by following an academic program of study in this field. This will give you first-hand experience of which tools are widely used in content marketing and how to operate them. It will also help develop the core skills needed to work in this area. St Bonaventure University Online is a popular place to study with this in mind — their courses in this field cover key content marketing tools and the skills you need to thrive when pursuing this career.
Of course, enrolling on a course of academic study can be a great way to brush up on skills and tools in content marketing — even if you have already gained knowledge in this area. By going back to study now, you will not only refresh existing skills but also come across new tools that modern content marketers use.
Which tools are worth keeping on top of in content marketing?
There has been a large rise in the number of content marketing tools which have appeared in the industry over the last few years. While you will come across the most common ones when studying for a qualification in this field, it is still worth keeping updated on them after you have graduated. This helps to ensure you stay familiar with them and can use them effectively. Of course, if there are any common content marketing tools you have not used before, it is sensible to learn more about these as well, to enhance your employability prospects.
But which tools are we talking about here? HubSpot is certainly one which is used in many businesses and content marketing roles professionally. This is a comprehensive digital platform which contains powerful email marketing tools, and tools for managing social media, analytics and a content management system. Known for being simple to use with a community-based approach, this content marketing tool is worth keeping updated on.
What other content marketing tools should you stay on top of?
Google Apps is a prime example of a suite of tools which comes in very handy for marketing content. It includes the very popular Google Analytics platform, which content marketers find useful for things like measuring how often a piece of content is viewed, or which part of the world the content seems to be most well received.
Free to use, it is the ideal way to make evidence-based decisions on content marketing plans and provides key metrics to work with. When you also add in Google Search Central (which offers ways to help increase your search engine ranking for content in Google itself) and Google Ads (which can help you run PPC campaigns around content), the need to stay updated with this suite of tools is obvious.
Qualtrics Survey Software is used by many professional content marketers and the companies they work for. It not only makes creating insightful online surveys easy, but it also offers diagnostic tools and complete brand tracking as well. With an intuitive ‘drag and drop’ approach to survey creation, this tool helps content marketers learn more about their customers and create fresh content they will engage with as a result.
Adobe Creative Cloud and social media tools
Another widely used content marketing platform you should brush up on regularly is Adobe Creative Cloud. This comes in very handy because it includes a bunch of tools that assist you in making awesome content. Whether it is the Photoshop editor to improve images in content, or page layout software to use when crafting articles, this package is a godsend.
Social media is naturally key for marketing content in the digital world, and it pays to stay updated with the latest platforms and the features they contain. It is also worth staying updated on how to use the latest social media analysis tools for content marketing professionals.
Mimic Social Media Simulation, for example, gives you somewhere to hone your content marketing skills and practice things like managing an ad budget. There are also other analytical tools that can help you measure your content’s performance on social media — Twitonomy is one that gives an in-depth breakdown of content performance/engagement on Twitter.
What content marketing skills should you brush up on often?
We have covered a few key tools above which are worth brushing up on regularly when pursuing a content marketing career. But what skills should you keep developing for this type of role and which traits are key to success?
As you would expect, content creation skills are very important and worth continually improving over time. This is something that should happen naturally if you have the right education behind you, and create content on a regular basis. If you are not working as a professional content marketer yet, try to get into the habit of creating great content each day at home.
The key to developing this skill is knowing how to research content ideas and turn them into original, fresh content people want to read. It is also vital to ensure your content has no mistakes and you can use a multimedia approach to writing when needed. The importance of rewriting and revising cannot be overstated either!
What other skills should content marketers hone?
It is important to remember that content marketing has the same aim that marketing in other ways does. It is designed to engage consumers and drive leads and sales. With this in mind, a key skill to develop is how sales funnels work. This helps you to craft content which is appropriate, by understanding the different stages people move through when buying goods/services. By knowing how to create content that fits the right stage of the sales funnel, you will end up writing pieces that have much more impact.
Planning skills are also vital for content marketing professionals and something you should be constantly working on. This will help you not only plan out your workload in order to hit deadlines but also plan content marketing strategies effectively. Without this skill, it is hard to achieve long-term success in this role.
SEO knowledge also comes in handy for marketing content because it enables you to craft articles that rank higher in search engine results. This in turn means more people see your content and you generate more traffic, leads and sales from it. Whether it is staying up to date with keyword research techniques or learning how to build links ethically, SEO skills are something to bear in mind.
The importance of data analysis, content promotion and IT skills
When it comes to marketing content, it really does make sense to keep your content promotion knowledge updated. This is just as key as being able to create fantastic content because it helps you actually get it in front of consumers. By continually refreshing your skills around how to promote content (such as new techniques to use, how to work with influencers, or new platforms that can help), you will see much better results over time.
It is also critical for anyone pursuing content marketing to brush up on data analysis and IT skills regularly. This may be something you cover when studying a content marketing program at college/university but both are worth focusing on throughout your career. Data analysis skills prove crucial because they enable you to use the latest platforms to track content’s performance and plan out future marketing campaigns. IT skills are essential because they help you to effectively use all the tools/software which modern content marketing involves.
What benefits can regularly updating these skills and tools bring?
Although we have looked at a range of tools and skills to keep updated on regularly when pursuing a content marketing career, you may still wonder why you should bother. The first reason to consider is that honing your skills and your ability to use common tools will make you more attractive to employers. This is initially a great help when pursuing a career in content marketing.
However, it is not just people who are trying to get their first content marketing job that this makes sense for. Why is updating your resume in this way useful for those already working in content marketing?
Firstly, refreshing your memory of these tools and skills helps you remember those you may have forgotten. In addition, it enables you to practice ones you might not use much anymore and use them in your role. All this can help boost your overall performance, give your content marketing campaigns new life and see the content you market really hit home.
Staying up to date with content marketing tools and skills also means you stay relevant and come across new ones you might not have learned before. This not only stops your career from stagnating but can also help when pursuing new jobs. If you want to move up to the next level in this field, for example, brushing up on the skill set employers value can help you bag the best openings.
What type of roles could staying updated bring?
As noted above, staying updated could bring some great opportunities your way, in terms of helping to get your foot in the door when pursuing a content marketing career initially, and also making you more eligible for senior roles.
But what sort of roles are we talking about here? With an average salary of around $50,519 a year, a content specialist is one role having the right skills or industry knowledge could deliver. This can often center around researching and crafting content which will then be marketed. If you love coming up with ideas for fresh articles and have a knack for creating original, engaging content, this is the ideal role to think about.
Refreshing your knowledge on key content marketing tools and skills could also mean the position of content editor is within your reach. Earning an average of $54,569 a year, this job sees you reviewing and editing the work of content creators. As well as editing content for grammatical mistakes, they will also check it for the tone of voice, whether it meets the content brief and if it fits in within company style guidelines.
What other careers in content marketing could you pursue?
Brushing up regularly on the right tools and skills in content marketing can also help when pursuing other key roles in this industry. An SEO specialist is a prime example and would see you using your SEO skills plus the latest SEO/analytical tools to market content. This role comes with an average salary of around $51,808 a year and is usually in high demand by companies because marketing content in a way which is SEO friendly can deliver awesome end results to businesses.
Social media strategist is another role that can open up as a result of continually developing the right skills and constantly learning. This role sees you focusing on content for social media platforms and creating marketing campaigns in this arena. As well as drafting content for social media platforms, this job also involves scheduling content delivery and running ad campaigns on relevant platforms.
A content strategist is a popular career in this field that requires certain skills. While they may sometimes create content for clients, their main task is planning out a strategy around the type of content which is required. They will work with clients to understand the kind of content that is most suitable and then put plans in place to make it happen. A rewarding role, this has an average salary of around $72,466 a year.
At the top end of content marketing-based roles, staying up to date with the latest tools and honing your skills could see you become VP of digital marketing. This role is at an executive level and pays $171,956 a year, on average. As you would expect, this is a managerial role that oversees the content creation process and strategic content marketing process, rather than creating/marketing content personally.
Is the effort involved in pursuing a content marketing career worthwhile?
There is no doubt that regularly brushing up on key content marketing tools and skills involves concerted effort. It also involves an investment of your valuable time and could come with some expense, if you follow an academic course of study to learn what is needed. But is it all worth it in the end?
The simple answer is that putting in this kind of effort is worthwhile. Careers in content marketing are in demand across all sectors because marketing content online is so valuable to companies now. By educating yourself on the tools and skills you need regularly, you will have what it takes to work in a field that is only likely to become more popular with employers in the future. In addition, many roles in this field come with good salaries which means you should get a decent return on the effort you put into pursuing them.
Content marketing tools and skills to hone
If you are pursuing a career in content marketing, it is obvious that knowing how to use common tools and possessing the right skills is crucial. Without either of these in place, you will find it tough to forge a career in this field or have the attributes employers are looking for. With this in mind, it really is worth regularly brushing up on essential skills and tools in content marketing. Whether you go back to education to do this or simply keep updated after graduating, it is something to consider.